You Have More Control Than You Think! by Maureen Price

Last week, I watched a video that Dr. Cloud made available on “How to Stay Psychologically Healthy in Times of Crisis.” It was great to see Henry’s face since it has been months since I last saw him. Even more than that was gleaning some very helpful and practical advice. I hope you take the time to watch. 

Henry provided a great deal of helpful information. One big take away for me was creating a list of the things “I can’t control” and a list of the things “I can control” during our new, but disorienting way of daily living. The “I can’t control” list is my “worry list”. Henry suggested scheduling a time each day to worry over your list. The idea is we will do it anyway but limiting it to a small amount of time (5 – 10 minutes) really helps contain our anxiety. This “worry” list also has been added to my daily prayer list. I then decided to find all the bible verses on worry. This is a great activity, and I highly recommend you do the same. I discovered there are a great many encouraging verses.The one I wanted to share is Matthew 6:27:
“Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
This stopped me. Hmmm, now that’s a sobering thought, not only can’t you add an hour, you can lose many precious hours by thinking about the things you can’t change. Limiting my worry time frees me up more time to focus on what I can do. The list of things I can control was far longer than I thought it was going to be. That was encouraging. Yay, I can control a lot more than I thought initially. Feeling empowered by my “I can control” list gave me a boost of energy. You may want to consider creating your own lists.

I thought I would share my lists:
Things I Can’t Control (My worry list).1.      The spread of the Coronavirus2.      The number of people impacted by this virus3.      Supply shortages of essentials (including Toilet Paper)4.      Loss of jobs5.      The economy downturn6.      Store closures and/or limited hours7.      What other people choose to do

Things I can control and things I can do

1.      Reading my One Year Bible daily

2.      Pray every day and throughout the day (include worry list here)

3.      Journal how I am feeling. (It helps to name my feelings

4.      Talk to at least one person about how I am feeling

5.      Take at least one daily walk (I need to get 10,000 steps in)

6.      Connect with Debra and Nicole every day via ZOOM. See how they are doing, talk work stuff & exchange ideas. (sharing a brain is always helpful) 

7.      Be mindful to practice social distancing

8.      Wash my hands constantly :>)

9.      Continue to make healthy food choices (Ok this is a struggle, but I am doing it most of the time)

10.  Connect with family and a few friends every day via Facetime or Zoom and Text

11.  Be intentional about how I choose to spend my time

12.  I can work on a regular communication with our fans and readers (yes, that’s you all, we are all struggling)

13.  Ask Debra and Nicole to participate in sending an encouraging email each week

14.  I can limit how much news I watch each day. (This is a big one because news isn’t always helpful)

15.  I can reach out to people who need help and help as much as I am able

16.  I can be more patient and be a better listener (I continue to work on both of these)

17.  When I find and encouraging sermon, podcast or article I can share it

18.  Set aside time each day to brainstorm ways to keep GrowthSkills humming along

19.  Lastly, and importantly I can review this list every day to remind me what I can and can’t do :>)

Your two lists may look different than mine. You may be surprised to learn that just doing this activity was helpful. If so, I would love to hear from you. My hope is that you each stay healthy and stay encouraged during this troubling and disorienting time. Keep the prayers coming for all that concerns you and those you care about. Let’s also pray for God’s mercy and for a quick end to this terrible virus!  

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